The Pinner community has been put on alert following reports of table-surfing thefts targeting mobile phones at a popular Caffe Nero in the area, although instances may have occurred at other locations also.
Local police are urging residents and visitors to remain vigilant as they combat this growing trend of theft.
PCSO Lee O’Brien from the Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team recently issued a warning through the OWL network, describing the technique used by thieves. He said, “We are receiving reports of table-surfing thefts of mobile phones in Caffe Nero, Pinner. Table-surfing is when thieves try and steal items from tables or chairs by distracting victims and using sleight of hand.”
O’Brien explained that thieves often choose victims who have left their phones, iPads, or other devices unattended on tables. Under the pretense of asking for directions on a map, the thief will cover and steal the device, leaving victims unaware until it’s too late.
While the pretense and the items used to cover the stolen device may vary, the thief’s intention remains the same – to make a quick getaway with valuable goods. To protect yourself from this, O’Brien offered some practical advice, including not leaving your phone or other devices unattended on tables and being aware of your surroundings.
He also stressed the importance of utilising your phone’s security features, setting up tracking apps, and safeguarding your IMEI number, which can aid in tracking the phone if it’s lost or stolen. O’Brien urged residents to take these precautions promptly to prevent thieves from disabling tracking features.
The Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team is working to address these incidents and encourage the community to remain alert to potential thefts.
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